Bedford schools, roads and museums closed due to flooding
Schools, roads and museums have been closed after heavy rain in a town.
Bedford Free School, Castle Newnham School and Goldington Academy in Bedford have shut as well as The Higgins Bedford and The Panacea Museum.
Bedford Borough Council said De Parys Avenue in Bedford and Lovell Road in Oakley were closed due to flooding.
Homes and businesses have also been affected. Local resident Emma Element said she “barricaded” her mother’s front door to stop the water entering.
Ruth Wilkes, head teacher at Castle Newnham, said the school was closed as “we can’t get the children into the buildings without them wading through drain water”.
She said secondary classrooms and a hall were flooded with drain water and the playground and classrooms of the primary block on Goldington Road were flooded and “entrances were not accessible”.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms causing some isolated flooding and disruption.
It said there was “a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds”.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had received between 40 and 50 999 calls in an hour related to “significant flooding” in the town.
It asked people to only call 999 if there was a “significant risk to life”.
Bedford Free School, on Cauldwell Street, said no water had got inside the building but there was a lot of water outside, meaning it was hard to access.
The Higgins Bedford museum, on Castle Lane, said due to flooding it would be closed.
Lucy Bywater, a Green Party councillor for Castle Ward, said a “deluge” of rain started at about 06:15 BST.
By about 08:00, some local businesses had been affected and water had seeped into a few homes.
“It was biblical, all the streets looked like rivers. George Street was particularly bad,” she said.
“I’ve lived here 20 years and I’ve not seen anything on this level, its utterly extraordinary.”
Ms Element said her mother’s home on Bower Street had water up to the door and along the alleyway.
“We barricaded her front door so we could stop the water getting in,” she said.
“We managed to stop it before too much got in.”
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